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Microsoft The Almighty Buck

Microsoft Wants To Pay You To Use Its Windows 10 Browser Edge (theguardian.com) 256

An anonymous reader shares a report by The Guardian: Microsoft has a new browser. It launched with Windows 10 and it's called Edge. The company says it's faster, more battery efficient and all-round better than Chrome or Firefox. You can even draw on websites with a stylus. Trouble is, not very many people are using it. So now Microsoft's trying to bribe you to switch. The newly rebranded Microsoft Rewards -- formerly Bing Rewards, which paid people for using Bing as their search engine (another product Microsoft says is better than a Google product but that very few people actually use) -- will now pay you for using Edge, shopping at the Microsoft store, or using Bing. Users of Edge who sign up to Microsoft Rewards, which is currently US-only, are then awarded points simply for using the browser. Microsoft actively monitors whether you're using Edge for up to 30 hours a month. It tracks mouse movements and other signs that you're not trying to game the system, and you must also have Bing set as your default search engine. Points can then be traded in for vouchers or credit for places such as Starbucks, Skype, Amazon and ad-free Outlook.com -- remember, if you're not paying for something, you are the product.
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Microsoft Wants To Pay You To Use Its Windows 10 Browser Edge

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  • by MindPrison ( 864299 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @02:15PM (#52733683) Journal
    What else is new? Every banner for every campaign I've ever seen, every special offer, every 100s spam mail I get from anyone, MS or otherwise, is always "US" only when you read the fine print.

    Can we get a "US" news filter here so we can filter out the news that have offers only exlusive to US citizens? Please?
    • How would that work? Does it require someone to read through the fine print of every offer presented in every story and manually tag whether or not that story contains US-only news? When The Guardian reports on a US-only story, it doesn't sound like that process can be reliably automated.

      • Yeah. It's a damn shame we don't have people who... what's the word?... "edit". Like, an editor.

        FWIW, you can be safely assured the stories here on /. are US-centric because it's a US-centric site. Thank you for playing.

    • What makes you think this is world wide? You're on a site hosted in the USA, run by a USA based company with USA based editors and a user base that primarily lives in the USA.

      Say it like it is. You're a guest of this site. So am I.

    • Microsoft wants to squirt diarrhoea into your face? They'll pay to do so?

  • Reeks of desperation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by clubby ( 1144121 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @02:16PM (#52733693)
    This is what you do when you can't make a better product for your user base; you make a better product for those who prey upon you user base, bill the predators, and if not enough victims show up, you up the incentive.
    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @02:43PM (#52733941) Journal

      Once I had a system where the power management (sleep) couldn't be turned off, and we wanted to use it for digital signage. So in about eight lines of code I turned an Arduino into a USB mouse and set it to wiggle the cursor every 5 minutes, thereby preventing the system from going to sleep.

      Later, I wanted to wanted to guess someone's PIN number over night, so with a few lines of code I set the Arduino to act as a USB keyboard and type in every possible PIN, waiting a few seconds between tries.

      Now, Microsoft is willing to pay me to wiggle a mouse around and occasionally click. Hmm ... :)

      • Now, Microsoft is willing to pay me to wiggle a mouse around and occasionally click. Hmm ... :)

        I remember, back in college maybe 1998, my roomate signed up for this startup company that would pay him per click on advertisments. He wrote a script that would reload the website, move the mouse, and click on the link evey 2 seconds.

        He made close to 300 bucks over 3 months before the company went belly up. I wish I got in the action but I was taking ethics:P

    • Spend a few hundred thousand upfront for commercials and other advertising or spend that same money on what is effectively direct marketing with guaranteed capture rates? I think I'll go for option 2.

      Personally, I'll consider using Edge when it supports NoScript completely. Chrome still doesn't, so I don't use it.
    • by Immerman ( 2627577 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @03:13PM (#52734187)

      Windows 10: free*
      Edge: we'll pay *you*

      Could it be that the price of Microsoft products are finally approaching their actual value?

      • Step 3 is, "We'll pay you in bitcoins so you can buy heroin on the dark net."

        Step 4 is, "We'll send you heroin by drone."

        Step 5 is, "Windows 11 is $5000/month and comes with free heroin."

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Altrag ( 195300 )

        Depends on what you define as their "products."

        Windows 10 is only "free" if you had a (recent) prior version of Windows. Sure there will be a few lost sales but the vast majority of people don't "upgrade" their OS until their PC breaks and the new version comes with their new PC.

        And in turn they reduce their support costs significantly (they can justify EOLing Win7/8 much sooner if you've been given every incentive to upgrade already.) And of course they can leverage any new "features" in Win10 as an ad p

    • Edge doesn't even support third party plugins... Trouble viewing a PDF? Good luck discussing that with Microsoft. I don't know what they are thinking.
    • I suspect that Edge's quality isn't the issue here. Microsoft could make Edge the best possible browser in the world, that leverages quantum computing to instantaneously give you web pages the second your mind just thinks about wanting to browser there, and it wouldn't matter.

      Microsoft has spent almost it's entire lifespan fucking over everyone and their goldfish in order to dominate and monopolize the PC market, and people are remembering that. On top of everything else, Windows 10 is demonstrating very

    • This isn't even payment. If people aren't using Edge there's a reason for it, and being forced to also use Bing just to get points that only give discounts is pitiful. A discount is not money unless you were already going to buy item anyway.

  • Bing It (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @02:16PM (#52733697)

    I use Bing because I find it to be as good as Google or better for searches (especially image/video searches) and maps.
    The fact that they pay me to use it is a bonus.

    They'd have to pay me a LOT more to use Edge, however. And make Edge available for Windows 7, because fuck Windows 10.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by halivar ( 535827 )

      Bing is actually better that Google in returned results. But I do absolutely hate the interface with a fiery passion.

      • I've been doing my daily number of required searches for the Bing rewards program for a while. I can usually get fairly helpful answers for everyday things, but when I start diving deep into technical problems it is beyond useless. As for me being the product, what major search engine can I use that isn't mining my searches for profit?
        • As for me being the product, what major search engine can I use that isn't mining my searches for profit?

          See: https://www.privacytools.io/#s... [privacytools.io]

          If you're too lazy to click, it says DuckDuckGo, Disconnect Search, MetaGer and ixquick.

          • DuckDuckGo kind of sucks as a search engine, though. The results even on the first page are not always relevant.

            • DuckDuckGo kind of sucks as a search engine, though. The results even on the first page are not always relevant.

              So pick your poison: MS crap, Google's track-everything-you-do, or DDG that works 90% of the time (for me, at least).

              I choose DDG. When the search results don't answer my question, then I run the same search in Google.

              • by clubby ( 1144121 )
                This is exactly what I do. About one search in 20, I nope it on over to Google. Just stick a !g in front of your query, and off you go.
    • Re:Bing It (Score:4, Informative)

      by LichtSpektren ( 4201985 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @02:29PM (#52733803)
      Why don't you use duckduckgo or some other search engine that doesn't violate your privacy by tracking you?
    • What?!

      I wouldn't fuck Windows 10 if they gave it away for FREE!!!

      Oh wait...

    • Re:Bing It (Score:5, Informative)

      by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @03:11PM (#52734171) Journal

      I use Bing because I find it to be as good as Google or better for searches (especially image/video searches) and maps.

      This is demonstrably false. As soon as you look for something even remotely rare where Google finds only 5-10 matches, Bing finds 0. I've done this experiment innumerable times.

      Some examples:

      Search for "tig welding" "cantilever" "bronze"
      Google: 491000 results
      Bing: 3150 results

      Search for "botox" "cannabis" "dingbat"
      Google: 1150 results
      Bing: 58 results (none of which very relevant)

      search for "ion scavenger" "fluorescein"
      Google: 192 results
      Bing: 23 results

      Search for "osmosis" "peristalsis" "cowboy bebop"
      Google: 34 results
      Bing: 1 result!

      Finally... search for "forked code" "bonded" "lap"
      Google: 4 results
      Bing: fuckall

      • Google returns a few billion results for pretty much every search these days. That's the problem, it doesn't know when to say "There's literally nothing about this on the Internet". Google's programmers don't actually seem to understand that that is a useful answer.

        That said, I haven't tried your search strings above, and for all I know every single page Google is returning is either relevant or actually contains the search term.

        That would be a first though.

      • Re:Bing It (Score:5, Funny)

        by ilsaloving ( 1534307 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @05:53PM (#52735299)

        "tig welding" "cantilever" "bronze"
        "botox" "cannabis" "dingbat"
        "ion scavenger" "fluorescein"
        "osmosis" "peristalsis" "cowboy bebop"
        "forked code" "bonded" "lap"

        You either have the worlds most amazing Saturday nights, or the most terrifying.

      • Not anymore. Both search engines have now indexed your post.
      • Except Google is lying to you. There actually aren't 1150 results for "botox" "cannabis" "dingbat"
        Click on page 15 of the results

        Your search - "botox" "cannabis" "dingbat" - did not match any documents.

        Suggestions:

        * Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
        * Try different keywords.
        * Try more general keywords.
        * Try fewer keywords.

        Search Results

        In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 129 already displayed.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Bing maps seems to lack a lot of the detail that Google has. Stuff like individual business names in every building, with opening times, contact details etc. It probably depends on the area you are looking at but for Japan Google Maps are way, way better.

  • by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Friday August 19, 2016 @02:26PM (#52733773) Homepage

    They've put a lot of work into Edge. Now that it supports extensions and has Adblock, it may even be good enough to use regularly. It sounds unlikely but it's not without possibility that it is better than Chrome in perf.

    But Bing? They're nuts. The search results are measurably worse and the user experience is lacking advanced features that makes Google so powerful.

    • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

      Now that it supports extensions and has Adblock

      Sweet! So it's on par with what other browsers have had with years or in the case of Firefox, over a decade.

  • Anyone else remember AllAdvantage?

  • Trust busting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LichtSpektren ( 4201985 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @02:27PM (#52733785)
    Setting aside the privacy implications of this (at this point, anyone who thinks they aren't being bagged n' tagged when using Windows 10 is either woefully naive or incredibly stupid), I think this warrants another antitrust investigation into Microsoft's behavior.

    Microsoft's OS will silently and without permission uninstall programs [betanews.com] that compete with the ones shipped with Windows 10, such as Firefox and Chrome. Or sometimes it will just silently and without permission change your default web browser back to Edge. The reason for this is because Edge's default search engine is Bing, which gives money to Microsoft via personalized advertisement brokering. And now they're locking in Edge, Bing, and the Windows Store so the user is given some menial rewards for using the three lock-in-step.

    When a company uses its monopoly or near-monopoly on one platform (e.g. desktop OS) in order to break into other platforms (e.g. web browsers, search engines, app stores), and rewards users for obeying or inconveniences/punishes users for not obeying, that's called abuse. It is far worse than AT&T bundling free phones with their service, and that got them split up into multiple companies. And it's several steps advanced from the original case that Microsoft was convicted for, which was bundling Internet Explorer with Windows 95.
    • And it's several steps advanced from the original case that Microsoft was convicted for, which was bundling Internet Explorer with Windows 95.

      But that was way before there were dozens of billions being made with such systems. Look at google, they have featured invasive ads for their chrome browser on the most popluar website on the internet. Any punishment? None. Or take google apps. Abusing their monopoly is the only control they have in fact over android, the remainder is open sourced. On the smartphone maket, google approaches monopoly status.

      Or take systemd. It bundles many services and is forced down the throats of thousands of gnu/linux use

      • But that was way before there were dozens of billions being made with such systems. Look at google, they have featured invasive ads for their chrome browser on the most popluar website on the internet. Any punishment? None. Or take google apps. Abusing their monopoly is the only control they have in fact over android, the remainder is open sourced. On the smartphone maket, google approaches monopoly status.

        You can change the default browser in Chrome or install another browser. Besides, Android isn't a monopoly, since iOS is a viable alternative. On the other hand, many governments and what not still require legacy x86 Windows-exclusive standards, so even though Linux and macOS and ChromeOS exist, Windows is still de facto a monopoly.

        Or take systemd. It bundles many services and is forced down the throats of thousands of gnu/linux users. Thanks to it, everyone is forced to use binary logging if they want to use udev.

        Use eudev. Problem solved. Or, forward all your logs from journald to your preferred syslog daemon so they're in plaintext. Also you're not really forced to do anything since Lin

    • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

      It is far worse than AT&T bundling free phones with their service, and that got them split up into multiple companies.

      If by AT&T you mean Ma Bell, then free phones? When did that ever happen? Under Ma Bell you leased your phone equipment from the phone company. Ma Bell got split up into multiple companies because it was a massive monopoly that maintained this and other predatory pricing practices.

      • Most subscribers to AT&T in the 1980s got Western Electric equipment bundled with their telephone subscription. Western Electric of course was owned by AT&T, making them a vertical monopoly.
  • With Apple and Google getting into cars Microsoft can't be far behind so will this happen with their cars soon?

    Here, here's our car for FREE and while you drive it we'll give you mileage rewards. Just make sure you use BING navigation and BING auto-insurance which will track your driving and mileage habits!

    Heck, why not start that with Windows Phones first...

    Or they could, y'know.. just make a better web browser?

  • How about taking the money that Microsoft is going to "pay" to users and:
    - Go through Windows 7 (or previous versions, personally I'm using Win 7 for my MS only software development) and fix outstanding bugs
    - Create an open source, WebKit based browser that can compete with Chrome/Firefox/whatever without having to pay for users

    In the long run, this would be money better spent (ie generate more paying customers) than bribing users to use the substandard products that Microsoft has on it's "Front Line".

    • Or, just like they are open-sourcing PowerShell, they can open-source Windows 7, and wash their hands of the need to maintain that completely. And continue to use & promote Windows 10 w/ all their vendors & partners. As it is, there is ReactOS being developed, but that can be done even faster once they know what code they can't resemble
    • How about taking the money that Microsoft is going to "pay" to users and: ...

      That won't get them all the data that they'll be able to collect from the people who "agree" to installing the telemetry processes that will let Microsoft track what you're doing on your computer.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @02:31PM (#52733831)

    It tracks mouse movements and other signs that you're not trying to game the system

    This sounds like a challenge to me. Can you write a bot that can fool the Edge bot detection system . . . ?

    Search on a tech topic. Open the StackOverflow result. Take some time, and follow some of the links to death.

    In another tab, search for porn, and follow the links.

    Hey presto! Normal user browser behavior!

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @02:33PM (#52733851)

    ...Bing as their search engine (another product Microsoft says is better than a Google product but that very few people actually use...

    The Bing spider did not follow the instructions (about which subdirectories to skip) I gave it in the robots.txt file on my website.

    .
    I sent logs and my robots.txt to Bing's support team, and got back an answer along the lines of, ~yeah, we know that sometimes it doesn't follow robots.txt, that's your problem to solve~.

    If Microsoft thinks their search spider is so "special" that it need not follow the instructions I give it for my websites, then I don't want anything to do with Bing.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      it sounds like you think microsoft are a bunch of selfish pricks who don't give fig for standards of behaviour, standards for technology or standards in general. I'm shocked.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      BingBot was hitting my site for invalid urls - changing case. And I was getting hit thousands of times a day. It wasn't like they were hitting old urls - they literally changed the case on the URL and my server was properly returning a 404. This went on for weeks until I opened a support ticket and then it finally stopped some weeks after that. What a shit bot.

  • You can even draw on websites with a stylus.

    This is just plain lame. If it's a killer feature, then what is stopping other browser manufacturers from duplicating it? If it's not a killer feature, then other browser makers will ignore it and it will die!

    How is this feature even useful by the way, it's not a web standard, so it's not as if someone else can see what you are drawing on the web page... unless you cast it to raster, in which case, I can already do this with ms paint and a screen grab... I'm just not seeing how anybody is clamoring for thi

  • MS manager: xbox is turning into scorpio, and everything is windows 10
    Manager 2: hololens is now unaccountably integrated into windows 10. virtual reality email.
    manager 3: powershell is now for linux
    manager 4:: people will now need to pay money to surf the internet using our browser.
    manager 5: windows 10 now runs on the raspberry pi
    janitor: guys how does all this make money....
  • Browser User as a Service vendor here: My pricing structure starts at $10,000 per month.

    HMU.

  • I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole

  • Wife got a new laptop, win10. Tried figuring how to do something in Win10 (was different than earlier versions). Couldn't. Did a search. Default was BING. No luck. Entered same search terms into Google, and as well as serving up relevant looking links, it gave me the answer outright. Google knows more about Win10 than BING does. WTF?!?

    And Edge crashes her laptop a lot.

  • ... by the sheer volume of people who think that anything they do on the internet, regardless the "precautions" they take to try to maintain their anonymity, is really anonymous. Or that Microsoft is more evil than ANY other tech company. But if self-delusion lets you sleep better at night, so be it.

  • "Microsoft Wants To Pay You To Use Its Windows 10 Browser Edge"

    Lol, no, not even if they paid me.

    Look, I'll admit that I've done a LOT of shameful things for money, but even I have limits, low as they are.

  • Can I script it and run it in a VM?

  • So is this how the economy will work when robots take all the jobs? Because otherwise I don't see how this makes sense.
  • 1. Sign up for this program.
    2. Sue them for violating labor laws.
    3. ???, IANAL and it probably won't work
    4. Profit!

  • I see no Edge in Fedora and neither Debian [debian.org]. How is the package called?
  • Edge has no Adblock as of yet, so a lot of websites are almost unusable. Bing is fucking terrible compared to Google, so that's a no-go. Rewards? Kiss my ring.
  • No, I can't really see it. I also value my privacy so I don't think their offer will work for me. I've got friends doing this and they only get an store credit card for $5 every 3 months, not really worth it IMHO!

  • Fuck off cunts. :D

  • by dbreeze ( 228599 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @04:13PM (#52734667)

    ... Microsoft finally got nearer to a true price point for using their products.

  • Apparently Microsoft execs are wondering why people are using Firefox, Chrome, Google and Linux instead of Edge, Bing and Windows.

    It is scapegoating and denial to say that the problem is popularity alone.

    The answer is that Microsoft products, while usually well-engineered under the hood, are awkward in interface and exhibit a corporate mentality of control in forcing us to use other Microsoft products.

    In what is clearly a shock to all the first-decade MBAs out there, people hate being forced to do things, a

  • I would actually be tempted - Firefox has gotten increasingly sucktastic, and Chrome has some glaring deficiencies as well, so if I had already been forced onto Windows 10, I'd certainly have tried out Edge, and if it wasn't actively noticeably *worse* than FF or Chrome these days, I'd happily use it if they were paying me. Hard to pass up free money.

    But must use Bing as your default search engine? Frack that. (Moot point anyway for the moment, I'm staying with Windows 7 for as long as I possibly can. Event

  • It's horrible, has a ton of bugs and doesn't properly support JavaScript or CSS, we had to end up blocking it on my companies website just to be safe.
  • Even IF I were going to potentially try Edge, there was a lesson I learned as a child, and it has held to this day as zero fail: When something seems too good to be true.....

    Well, you know the rest. The suckers that actually think that MS isn't getting that $ worth PLUS MORE at the expense of said suckers are very unfortunately under-educated. Even more unfortunate is the number of people that will jump right on it and keep this sort of BS alive.

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